The Sixers and Cavaliers have been two of the top teams against the spread early in the NBA season, with Brett Brown’s crew holding a 5-3-1 record ATS and with the surprising Cavs owning a 5-3-1 mark ATS.
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Two early-season trends, though, point toward a Sixers cover in this one.
The first is that the Sixers seem to be on a different level at Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers are 3-0 straight-up at home and 2-1 as a home favorite ATS so far in 2019-20. Two of those home victories ended up being relative blowouts, with Joel Embiid and company blasting the Celtics 107-93 on opening night and Philly taking down Minnesota 117-95. They also had an eight point victory over the Hornets at home on Sunday (114-106).
Spread: Sixers -11 (-110), Cavaliers +11 (+110)
Money line: Sixers -560, Cavaliers +440
Over Under: Over 224 total (-108), Under 224 total (-112)
The second trend to keep an eye on here is that the Cavaliers look to be your classic overachieving bad team in that they can take care of business against fellow dregs, but they can’t quite keep up with the league’s elite.
Consider that these are the teams that the Cavs have beaten so far this season: Pacers, Bulls, Wizards, Knicks. And here are the teams Cleveland has lost to: Orlando, Milwaukee, Indiana, Dallas and Boston.
Kevin Love is looking like Minnesota Kevin Love again, as he is averaging 18.3 points per game and a whopping 13.4 boards per game. Point guard Collin Sexton is also having a terrific second season, and he will look to continue his solid play against the Sixers as he averaged 20.3 points per game against Philly last year (the Sixers went 2-1 straight up against Cleveland last season).
Sexton could very well have a big night with Ben Simmons (shoulder) likely to miss another game due to injury.
That said the home cooking should do the Sixers well again, and Embiid is due for a big scoring night having not eclipsed the 30-point mark in a game since the win in Atlanta back on Oct. 28.
The play: Sixers -11